Wisdom teeth extraction is a sometimes necessary procedure for teens and young adults. As they get older, these teeth fully develop. Because they are prone to problems and difficult to keep clean, it is sometimes recommended that patients have the teeth removed long before problems arise. For those approaching their late teens, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your dentist about wisdom teeth removal to start planning for what to expect.
Millennium Family Dental offers the help and support you need. We welcome you to talk to our dentists about the specific needs you have.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the four permanent teeth located in the very back corners of the mouth. There is one on the top and bottom on both the upper and lower jaw. These teeth typically do not come in until a person is in their early adulthood years. With routine dental screenings, your dentist may be able to provide some insight into how these teeth are coming in and what type of care they may need as they do.
Why Do You Need to Extract Wisdom Teeth?
Often, wisdom teeth extraction is a type of preventative treatment to minimize the risk of future dental problems. The wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, typically come in around the ages of 17 to 25. For some people, the teeth develop and erupt (break through the gum line) normally without complications, just like the other molars did.
For other people, the position of the molars is not aligned properly with the existing teeth in the mouth. Some are impacted, which means they do not have enough room to erupt properly and develop as they should. Some impacted wisdom teeth erupt partially. Others remain under the gum line. If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, it can cause several problems.
- It may grow at an angle as it erupts, next to another tooth.
- They may grow straight up and seem to be able to come in normally, but they remain trapped in the jawbone.
- They may come in at an angle pointing towards the back of the mouth, which can lead to some damage to tissues in the area.
- Some may come in at a right angle as if it is at the same angle as the jawbone.
- Some may come in and break into pieces.
When wisdom teeth are impacted, it can result in a significant amount of pain. These teeth are at a higher risk for complications, including infections and the development of periodontal disease. Because of their location, they tend to be very hard to maintain properly, which can lead to the development of early tooth decay.
If they do come in and are pointed at any other tooth, that can cause a misalignment to form in surrounding teeth as well. Sometimes, gaps are created during this eruption process, leading to the development of a cyst. This can be both painful and worrisome for infection.
The Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Avoiding these problems is the goal of extracting the teeth. Most people do not need these teeth – chewing with other molars is typically enough. Other times, removing these teeth now helps to protect the surrounding teeth from problems with alignment. Often, there is just not enough room for the wisdom teeth to erupt, which can lead to problems with pain and discomfort for years to come. Complications are a higher risk when a person ages, as well.
What to Expect from the Process
The first step in treatment is to have a full screening and x-rays taken. This provides the dentist with ample information about the position of the molars and any risks present to the gums, jawbone, or surrounding teeth. Once a plan is created, the procedure can be scheduled. This process only takes an hour or so to complete. However, there is a 3-to-5-day recovery period for most people. You’ll learn all about what to expect throughout the process.
During the procedure, your dentist will determine the right type of anesthesia for you. This typically includes local anesthesia to help with reducing any pain in the area where the extractions will occur. This is done using an injection. Sedation medication is also used as a way to help you to be calm and relaxed during the procedure. Most often, these medications help you to sleep through the process.
During the procedure
The extraction process only takes a few minutes per tooth. This involves making an incision at the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone and then removing the bone that blocks access to the tooth’s root. Both the tooth and the root is removed. The dentist then cleans the area and stitches it closed. Gauze is placed over the area to slow the bleeding.
After the procedure
Most people need a short recovery in our office while they regain full consciousness. You’ll receive specific directions for how to eat and clean the area for the next few days. Medications may be provided to help with pain after the treatment. Many people need a few days of healing before they can get back to normal activity, including eating and drinking. This allows for the site to heal properly.
Most often, there is no need to come back in for the stitches to be removed. Many people have no complications from it and heal normally. If you do experience any problems with pain or bleeding, our team is always available to discuss options to help reduce pain right away.
Schedule an Appointment with Millennium Family Dental Today
Schedule an appointment with our team to discuss your dental health needs. If you are coming in to see us for a routine cleaning, we can talk about wisdom teeth extraction at that time. Even if you’ve never visited before, our dental team is here to help you through this process. Call Millennium Family Dental today to discuss the treatment options you need.